Flock, the Web 2.0 Browser
Review: The beta of Flock 1.0 shows promise as a browser designed for heavy users of social networks and Web 2.0 media sites.When the Flock Web browser was first announced, calling itself the Web 2.0 browser, it got lots of attention and hype, which was no surprise, as this was the high point of the Web 2.0 craze. But when most of us looked at the then-available Developer Preview, we were mainly underwhelmed by a product that was basically Firefox with a few social networking and tagging add-ons that were limited in functionality. (The headline for my review at the time was "Flock Cant Fly Yet.") Two years later Flock has yet to release a definitive 1.0 version of its browser. But the company is finally close, recently releasing a private beta of Version 1.0. While the Flock browser is still basically just an enhanced version of Firefox, it is definitely much more polished and functional. Rebranded as the Social Web browser rather than the Web 2.0 browser, it makes a bit more sense, as those who are heavy users of social networks such as Facebook will find the most value in Flock. Like Firefox, Flock runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and much of the functionality is essentially identical to Firefoxs. Basically, Flock is a version of Firefox with specialized extensions and a customized social networking theme.
Much of Flocks core functionality runs in a left-hand sidebar and in a media bar that runs above the main browser screen. In the sidebar, I could log in to Facebook and see information on all my friends, including current status and shared media. If I clicked on their media link, Flock automatically loaded their shared images into the top media bar. I could drag and drop links and content directly onto a friend and access common Facebook features, such as a poke, directly from Flock.